Tatler Tours: Lee Jim Leng’s 3 Wardrobes Are Every Fashion Collector’s Dream
“Welcome to my humble home!” Lee Jim Leng greets us graciously, a sparkling vision in a diamante-studded Fendi velvet dress and boots, and a wide smile to match. “Shall we go straight to the point of interest?” she cuts to the chase, sensing our excitement. We’ve long held a flame for the spirited fashion sense possessed by the formidable Hong Leong investment Bank managing director and CEO. We swept past a view of the Lake Gardens and city skyline where the living room looks out to (“This is where the excitement happens during New Years Eve, you can see the fireworks from here!” she intimated). What followed was a dive into the most coveted closet in town, where we discovered she owned not 1, but 3 massive wardrobes arranged impeccably with limited editions from the likes of Fendi, Dior, Prada, Louis Vuitton. Our gracious host indulged our wide-eyed wonder with a personal tour of her prized possessions weaved generously with anecdotes that we caught on film.
You have 3 wardrobes. What are each of them for?
The first room houses the bulk of my wardrobe where I put all my handbags and the evening gowns I don’t often use. When my friends step in, they go, “Wow, how long did it take to collect these?” and I can’t even remember. I decided to display all the bags rather than keep them in boxes or bags, so that whenever I walk in, I know what I have. A lot of people say that this is not a wardrobe but a showroom.
My second wardrobe was converted from a massage room. This is a space I use everyday. There’s a dragonfly bench in the middle where I plan my outfit and wear my stockings, under a chandelier that adds a glam and fun chic-ness to the space.
Then there’s shoes! Behind a little door at the foyer is where all my shoes are. They are sorted based on colours and designers, and within easy reach before I head out. Prada is the biggest feature, and all of them are made-to-order, engraved with my initials.
Wardrobes are important as a ‘moodboard’ to your daily look. What inspirations drove their design?
My biggest thought was that this space was small compared to my previous house. I decided that I needed to deal with my feelings of what I want and what is practical, and that was to live and plan within the walls of apartment living. My inspiration was how I can make it nice, stylish, yet functional.
What was the brief you gave to your interior designer, Raymond Lee, to best store and showcase your collections?
To add some fun, a bit of glam and some luxe to the whole place. The key is to play around with the uses of colours, carpets, accessories and lighting. Raymond did a great job by adding little details like deep velvet chairs, rare carpets and so on. Nothing too girly but something that suits my style.
What’s a special collectible among your possessions?
I have a little Judith Leiber cupcake bag that caught my eye from a key scene in Sex and the City. Some of these special pieces evoke fond moments of my life.
See also: Rare And Expensive: 7 Limited Edition Handbags That Redefine Opulence
Could you show us the latest addition to your wardrobe?
This Prada trunk. You can park it in a corner and roll it into your living room to show off to friends. Every drawer is sorted by brands, from Prada, Fendi, Oscar de la Renta, and Saint Laurent. I put little things like earrings, charms and clutches in them.
Let's talk about your impressive collection of bags.
I just collected a handbag from the Louis Vuitton exotics range, made from tie-dye crocodile leather. After the dye, the bag is polished to a glossy shine – each piece is unique based on how the dye creeps into the crevices. Fendi has done an amazing job with the Peekaboos, I’ve got a special collector’s piece from their Singapore store opening that’s inlaid with crystal.
See also: Video: Fashion Stars Describe What They Love About The New #FendiSuriaKLCC
There’s a number of iconic accessories in these drawers...
I have a drawer full of YSL clutches, and another for all the accessories I collected over the years, all in one place to make it easy to look for things. No one has as many Fendi charms as I do. The last section is all my Fendi furs. I couldn’t decide which is the best to collect so I decided I needed them all.
Finally, how does your wardrobe go above and beyond function?
People think of the wardrobe as a place to select your clothing but you can spend time sitting here, reading a book or doing what pleases you. When the occasion arises to reorganise the space, it’s nice to have a place to sit down and imagine what you want to do next.
See also: How to perfectly organise your walk-in wardrobe
- Videography Dean Shaari
- Videography Khairul Imran
- Photography Khairul Imran
- Hair Cindy Hor
- Make-Up Cindy Hor